Previous close call at concert concerns City Market museum

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - There was concern Saturday night that a concert could damage pieces of 150-year-old Kansas City history.

It was the first pop-rock concert at the City Market in two years. The last time, chunks of concrete nearly damaged artifacts inside the Steamboat of Arabia Museum.

The crowd gathered at City Market for a "Grub Crawl" and a concert by local Afro-pop band Hearts of Darkness. The event brought a boost to area businesses.

"A lot of the bars and restaurants and shops love having events in the evening because it is a slower time. The farmer's market is over, obviously, so the people there aren't coming down in the evening," said City Market Marketing and Events Manager Meghan Buum.

But these weren't good vibrations for the Steamboat of Arabia Museum.

"The steamboat came to Kansas City when Kansas City was in its early days; in it's infancy. A settlement on the river was all it was," the co-founder of the museum, David Hawley, explained.

The steamboat barreled down the Missouri River in the 1850s. It sank, and, after the river's channel changed, it became one of the largest hidden treasures ever found at one dig site.

However, two years ago, a concert almost ruined a piece of that history. Five pounds of concrete fell from the ceiling because of the rock concert going on outside.

"Since that time, the city has promised no more big concerts," Hawley said. "They assured me that wouldn't happen this year."

Hawley wasn't too worried about the size and scope of the concert this time, but he says it could become a slippery slope.

"Our concern was 'Do they start with a small one, then maybe a little bigger next time?', and if there's no notification; no consultation," Hawley said.

Buum said, "We've had several private events that have music, and this is the first event that has been open to the public with music, and we hope it's a sign of good things to come."

Hawley said this concert didn't cause any damage. He is hopeful that if there are future music events, they aren't too big or too loud.

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